Tuesday 26th will be a nervous but exciting day for many at Wells next the sea as two lifeboats that have been painstakingly restored over the last 5 years at Stiffkey by David Hewitt and colleagues will be craned in by Abbey Transport during the morning!
The Ernest Tom Neathercoat was last in service in Wells 20 years ago and has been out of service and laid up ever since, gradually falling into need of repair, so this will be a great occasion to see her back into her own harbour in all her former glory! she will stay there
for a short while until being taken by sea to Blakeney where she will be moored for the foreseeable future.
The second boat ‘Horace Clarkson’ which was from Moelfre suffered a similar fate after being laid up when its owner could no longer manage her upkeep, she was purchased by a Norfolk enthusiast who had her brought to Stiffkey boatyard to be restored alongside Ernest Tom, She has since changed hands. She will spend a while in Wells and after ea trials will be heading to Brancaster (her new home) Most of the work on both boats has finally been completed (except a few finishing touches) and is time to get them afloat!
Lifeboat crew old and new will be at the launch (hopefully reuniting some of Ernest Tom’s old crew on board for a trip after being apart for over 20 years!!) also local press and several enthusiasts and on-lookers making it a special day for all! Despite probably causing some chaos on the road!!! Hope you can come along!
Whilst neither of these boats are part of the new charity Rescue Wooden Boats they are a prime example of what the charity is trying to do’saving and restoring’ old wooden boats (not just lifeboats!) before they are gone forever, getting them back on the water for all to see (and hopefully use!) The charity is in early stages but progressing well and hopefully if they get funding will be a great success story for many boats to come!